A study by the Hubertin Auclert Center on “Obstacles to Girls’ Access to Information Technology and the Digital Sectors”

Several studies are conducted throughout students’ education, some of which relate to girls’ academic success and differences in attitudes compared to boys when they reach secondary school. The test conducted by the Hubertine Auclert Center in the Ile-de-France region aims to highlight the obstacles to girls’ orientation towards scientific fields in general, and in particular in the digital and information technology fields.

Equality between women and men is a constitutional principle. While the school has played a major role in women’s liberation, despite the higher academic scores than boys, the presence of girls is insufficient in the scientific, industrial and digital fields. Gender stereotypes persist to the extent that Claude Royron, Ministerial Delegate for Equality between Girls and Boys, declared last year:

“We will offer second-year students of scholarships a kind of bonus to their allotment which can amount to several tens of euros per month if they choose a specialized education in the first year where they are a gender minority. Example, philosophy and literature for boys, engineering sciences for girls or digital … This bonus can be doubled in the final year if teaching is retained. Judging on envelope amount is in progress.”

Study Center Hubertine Auclert

Created in 2009, the Hubertine Auclert Center, associated with the Ile-de-France region (named after the sufragette, who specifically advocated for women’s political rights), contributes to the fight against inequality and discrimination based on sex and gender and promotes gender. equality.

One of its tasks is Promote education for equality, particularly through studies and analyzes of sexual and gender representations in educational tools. »

conducted a study from 2018 to 2021 in five secondary schools in Ile-de-France entitled:

Barriers to girls’ access to information technology and digital courses. »

IT, a world of men?

The number of female computer science students has declined since the 1980s, yet it represented a real opportunity to gain access to an engineering career. Thus, in INSA, in Rennes, while the mix of girls and boys was perfect in 1980, in 2015 the proportion of women was only 14%.

At the start of the 2017 school year, there were only 8% of women in this sector. In 2018, women represented 33% of employees in the IT and digital sectors, but 75% of them held “support” positions (human resources, management, marketing, communications) and only 15% of technical positions (operational, development). production and project management).

The denigration of the sector will coincide with the advent of the computer in homes, and with the emergence of the fantasy of nerds for boys.

Lack of interest in the IT and digital sectors

Pupils, both girls and boys, show a significant lack of interest in IT and digital courses. They have the image of a social maniac, not very good in social relationships, always in front of his screen, and for boys, it is not quite in line with the image of masculinity they have (sports, bodybuilding, military …)

High school emphasizes gender inequality

Educational teams cannot stop the production of inequalities in high school or even participate in reinforcing them. Girls feel less competent, and are more likely to give up than boys, especially since they are not supported.

Thus a management team member told investigators:

“In current high school, those who do best in science are to some extent hard working girls, we have a few hard working boys but most of the time the boys who succeed are guys who naturally have an appetite for science. These are hard working boys. They are very fast intellectually and they need much less work.”

Study conclusions

The study made it possible to formulate various recommendations:

  • Increasing the proportion of girls choosing and staying in science and digital education;
  • improve support for students in their mentoring process;
  • It is better to consider and train professionals in issues related to inequality and gender stereotypes, in teaching and in supporting young people during their studies.

It should be noted that these recommendations are complementary to the proposed action plan
in the report” Making gender equality a new step in Implementation of the twenty-first century high school » Commissions were given to Michel Blanquer, then Minister of National Education, in July 2021.

Sources: Hubertine Aubert . Center
The study: Barriers to girls’ access to the computer and digital sectors

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